Audio description takes to the sky

Friday, 1 August 2014 09:23am

Emirates airline has announced the introduction of audio description to its in-flight entertainment system, making it the first airline to provide both captioned and audio described content for passengers to enjoy.

Emirates has worked closed with Walt Disney Studios to supply closed captioned content since 2007. In the month of August alone, there will be over 50 movies with closed captions for the Deaf and hearing impaired. To continue Emirates’ commitment to exceptional customer service, audio description will be introduced on 16 Disney movies, allowing people with vision impairment to listen to the visual narration soundtrack.

The airline’s in-flight entertainment system is called ice (information, communication and entertainment) and audio described movies will be introduced on the ice Digital Widescreen system, which is installed in all classes of Emirates’ Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft. ice Digital Widescreen provides over 1,800 channels of entertainment, including over 400 movies.

Australian carrier Qantas improved its in-flight accessibility earlier this year by unlocking iPad VoiceOver screen reader capabilities for passengers using the Q-Streaming system. This improvement by Qantas along with Emirates’ adoption of audio description paves the way for other airlines to follow suit, leading to brighter skies in the long term for accessible air travel.


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